Is it Time to Change Your Toothbrush?

Is it time for you to replace your toothbrush? When was the last time you took a good look at the bristles? You may be practicing good oral hygiene, by brushing twice each day, but if you are using a frayed toothbrush, you are not cleaning your teeth and gums most efficiently. But how often should you change your toothbrush? It is important to know when to switch and why.

Why Replace Your Toothbrush?

The ADA (American Dental Association) recommends replacing your toothbrush approximately every four months. If you are attempting to clean your teeth with a frayed toothbrush, then you need to change to a new one sooner. This is a very general suggestion; other factors may require you to switch your brush more often. If you wear braces, toothbrush bristles tend to fray more quickly, requiring you to change brushes more frequently. Kids typically need sooner replacements than adults do.

Some people need to use a new toothbrush, even if the bristles are intact on the previously used brush. In cases where someone had a mouth sore, had been sick with the flu or a sore throat or mouth infection, that person’s brush should be replaced, even if it is brand new. This will help ward off household contamination and re-exposure to germs and illness.

Choosing the Best Toothbrush for You

Finding the right toothbrush is hardly rocket science, but it can be a bit tricky finding the best fit. Luckily, there are many options to choose on the market today. Consider the following features when shopping for your next toothbrush:

  • Brushhead size— Your toothbrush head should fit well inside your mouth, allowing you to easily maneuver along every nook and cranny, especially far behind the back molars and the rear gum line. A smaller brush head is typically the best bet.
  • Soft bristles— Always opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush. It is not necessary to use harder bristles; in fact, hard or medium bristles can damage your teeth and gums.
  • Standard or electric— There isn’t much scientific data to proof that one type is more effective than the other, it all comes down to a persona choice. Although, some electric brushes offer an automatic two-minute timer help ensure you brush for the recommended time.

How to Extend the Life of Your Toothbrush

Like everything, your toothbrush will not last forever. But, there are steps you can take every day to help keep it in working order longer. Here are some things you can do to help your toothbrush last a bit longer:

  • Rinse your brush after each use under cold running water to remove any leftover toothpaste and food particles.
  • Keep toothbrushes stored in an open area, in an upright position. Brushes should not be touching. Allow drying thoroughly in this position.
  • Use an aerated plastic toothbrush case when traveling.
  • Do not share your toothbrush.